Hello! My name is Katie Eide and I am the 4-H Extension Agent here in Loudoun County. This is my first post in a blog that is designed to be all about Loudoun County 4-H. My goal is to educate those who are unfamiliar with 4-H, share awesome stories from our 4-H members, and post information on how kids in Loudoun County can become involved in our program.
Essentially, 4-H at its core is a youth development program. The definition of 4-H is: 4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.
4-H programs are developed with a focus in four areas: head, heart, hands, and health. To better understand what this means, let’s take a look at the 4-H pledge:
I pledge my head to clearer thinking
My heart to greater loyalty
My hands to larger service
And my health to better living
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.
“I pledge my head to clearer thinking” is about teaching youth independence and leadership, giving them the necessary skills to think through problems, make decisions, and lead others into action.
“I pledge my heart to greater loyalty” teaches youth to feel a sense of connection to their community, helping them feel physically and emotionally safe while participating in a group.
“I pledge my hands to larger service” helps youth bring meaning and purpose to their lives through community service and citizenship.
“I pledge my health to better living” aims to give youth self confidence, and feel that they are capable of solving problems and challenges they encounter.
All of these elements are incorporated into 4-H clubs, afterschool programs, camps, community service projects, and other programs and events.
That’s all for now! I wanted the first post to be a brief introduction to the culture of 4-H. During the upcoming weeks and months, I will write more about the history of 4-H, as well as what Loudoun County 4-Hers are currently doing in their communities to bring the words of the 4-H pledge to life.
Have a wonderful week!
Associate Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development